During 2016 Sailfree expanded from three to four days a week providing Sailing for All to more than 2,500 disabled people.
Otley Sailing Club first began providing sailing opportunities for disabled people and people with complex learning difficulties under the “Sailing for All” banner in 1989 thanks to the vision and hard work of Norman Stephens and the then commodore, David Grimshaw, followed not long afterwards by Derek Chapman. In those days, the boats were standard Wayfarers, not the purpose built ‘Access’ Boats used today.
In 1993, “Sailfree” was born, but it was not until 1995 that the National Governing Body of our sport, the Royal Yachting Association, became involved and RYA Sailability (to which Sailfree is affiliated) became a reality. 3
We were proud to be recognized as a Sailability Centre of Excellence in 2008.
In 2013 club received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service from the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Dr Ingrid Roscoe.
This was followed by the Duke of York Award for voluntary service to the community.